The importance of teaching literacy in the Primary Years Programme

Author Gail Mahoney | 29th February, 2016 Back to Blog

Students at RBKIA are provided the extremely important academic foundation of literacy in the PYP section of our school. Students at RBKIA are taught how to love to learn to read. Learning to love to read is a first important step in promoting literacy at our school. Literacy and learning to love to read and the love of literacy materials of all types, sets the foundation for the academic success of students who are attending school at RBKIA.

Literacy is the ability to read, write, speak, design and listen, so that the students can communicate in an effective manner as lifelong learners. Literacy is not only reading and writing as we have seen a growth and evolvement over the past decade in student’s literacy world. Literacy skills have soared and extended beyond the traditional pedestals of reading, writing, grammar, and comprehension. In today’s classrooms at RBKIA students are engaged in activities that include digital and interactive activities.

In order for the students at RBKIA to become successful in their literacy programs, parental support is one vital element needed to achieve the students long and short term personal literacy goals. There are a myriad of ways in which parents can show their support for their children in everyday life. One is to share their knowledge of how literacy is used in everyday life. For example going shopping, having conversations with friends, reading menus, making a list of the tasks for the day and even reading the newspaper or watching the news. Teachers and parents are encouraged to read and to view a variety of text such as newspapers, comics, magazines, websites, emails and timetables with their children. Teachers and parents are the role models for the students at RBKIA, therefore both teachers and parents are encouraged to discuss new and unusual words or phrases and to explore these through print and electronic dictionaries on a daily basis. Talking to the children about things that are amusing, interesting or useful encourages their love of literacy. Children generally love playing games; playing games with children which support the development of vocabulary, as well as the enjoyment of words will increase the literacy of students as studies have shown.

Children need to be given a choice when it comes to reading. Children are more likely to read when their interests are taken into account and they have control of how and what to read. Opportunities for children to read should be plentiful and books (and other reading material) available in all the places children visit at RBKIA we offer these opportunities in our PYP library along with classroom resources. Reading a book for children doesn't have to be where the story ends. Kids can have fun creatively expressing what they've read, and they don't have to know that they're also demonstrating their comprehension. At RBKIA students are given a majority of opportunities to showcase their comprehension and to take their learning of the text further. A love of reading doesn't happen automatically though. It needs to be nurtured and guided until it flourishes into a well-read, well-rounded human being at RBKIA students are encouraged daily and have shown a tremendous amount of success in their literacy skills throughout the school in all grades.